Italy: Women demand investigation after discovery of foetus graves bearing mothers' names in Rome

Several Italian women have urged authorities to investigate after the discovery of a cemetery where aborted foetuses were buried with crosses bearing the names of the women who had terminated their pregnancies, without their knowledge or consent. The cemetery could be seen in footage filmed on Thursday and Friday. A woman named Francesca recently discovered the existence of her daughter's grave in the cemetery, as she explained on Thursday. In 2019, Francesca had a therapeutic abortion and unbeknownst to her, the foetus was buried in a cemetery in Rome with her name and surname written on a cross. «On three separate occasions, I inquired about the foetus. No answers were given. Only last week, on my way to the Flaminio cemetery, I discovered that there was a grave in my name» Francesca revealed. Many women all over Italy have recently found out that their foetuses had been buried, often in a Catholic rite, with more than 60,000 burials having been carried out according to Emiliano Ferri, Vice-President of the 'Defending Life with Maria' association, who he defended the decades-long practice. «For us, it is an act of charity, an act of piety,» said Ferri, who added that «Sincerely, we had no intention of imposing. In reality, we work in close cooperation with hospitals, companies and municipalities.» «We feel strongly that in this affair there has been a serious violation of women's rights, all of them felt violated in their citizenship, in their self-determination, and all of them felt violated in their freedom of worship,» said the head of Italian feminist group Differenza Donna, Elisa Ercoli, that filed the complaint with prosecutors.

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